Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


paid for

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Maxim Vengerov – Living the Dream
Bonus material – Vengerov playing Wieniawski in concert in Moscow
Produced, directed and filmed by Ken Howard
NTSC 16:9, Disc Format DVD-5, Linear PCM stereo, all regions, Subtitles D, F
EMI CLASSICS 5034029 [71:00]

Experience Classicsonline

I remember seeing this documentary on British television though I don’t think the bonus feature was aired, at least not in full. It’s devoted to Vengerov’s “Sabbatical Year.” He had reached thirty and in 2005 withdrew from his hectic performance schedule to study jazz improvisation with Didier Lockwood in Paris. It coincided with the writing of a concerto for Vengerov by the Israeli composer Benjamin Yusupov which required Vengerov to play the viola, the electric violin and dance the tango. Can’t see Milstein ever have done that – but then Vengerov is a charmer and open to offers.
The film is a collage of sights and sounds. We move from Abbey Road in London to Moscow to Siberia, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Galilee, Hanover, and Paris. We eavesdrop on the recording session of the Beethoven Concerto with Rostropovich, and the cameras were in situ some months before when the two men met for a piano accompanied run through of the work in Vienna. Whether you think the results the acme of sublime depth or catatonic boredom is matter of taste I suppose, though I incline to the latter view. What’s not in doubt is the strength of feeling that existed between the two men. I like Rostropovich’s instruction to Vengerov in Vienna “ No, you are being too selfish there.” 
The Moscow concerts reveal an unusual slice of repertory – Kreisler’s arrangement for violin of the eighteenth variation from Rachmaninoff’s Paganini variations; Ian Brown of the Nash Ensemble is the trusty pianist throughout. We see Vengerov’s parents, drop in on a convivial evening at the parental apartment, hear from his first teacher and see snippets from a Vengerov-led master class or two. Perhaps the most poignant of all scenes are those set in his home town of Novosibirsk in Siberia, snow covered and still exerting a powerful pull on the violinist’s imagination; he talks of the feel of a snowball in one’s hand as Proust talked of madeleines.  These youthful memories are reinforced by an old film of Vengerov as a child, wearing a white smock, playing Schubert’s Rondo. His old friend and colleague, Vadim Repin is briefly interviewed – and there are shots of the two boys fiddling away together for dear life, summoning up those antique duels between Leopold Auer’s students. Rightly there’s a brief clip of Zakhar Bron, their teacher, in an old teaching film.
Vengerov was so coiled a player that, like perhaps most classical soloists, he couldn’t play and tap his foot at the same time. This made for difficulties with Didier Lockwood whose class he joined. Lockwood is a laid back soul, in favour of finding the inner child and nurturing it against life’s vicissitudes, but he clearly encouraged Vengerov. The tango lessons reveal his charming, straightforward approach to matters beyond the violinistic and this is well contrasted with the more serious business of meeting Yusupov in Israel to have preliminary discussions on the concerto. Vengerov lived in Galilee from the age of sixteen and his sense of affinity with the landscape and country is unaffected and touching.
Quite a large part of the programme is given over to rehearsals for – and segments from the performance of – the Viola Tango Rock Concerto. This was given in Hanover where I doubt they could quite anticipate the funkier aspects of tango, lighting effects and Harley Davidson simulating electric violin. Vengerov certainly seems to measure up in the tango stakes in the final movement where he sheds his viola, his bullish masculinity matched by the feline sexuality  - this stuff is catching – of his tango partner, the liquid and beautiful Christiana Pahla.
The bonus is a complete performance of Wieniawski’s Op.15 Variations on an original theme with Ian Brown, filmed in the Moscow Conservatory, where Wieniawski taught for three years.
So, with batteries recharged, his Sabbatical over, Vengerov hopes to conquer new mountains with renewed vision. It will be interesting to see which areas of the repertoire he will pursue, with which conductors - now that Rostropovich is dead - he will forge true alliances, and how intensively he will embrace the chamber repertoire – trio as well as sonata work. Time, as they say, will tell.
Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos







Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.